Getting a tattoo is not cheap and will require you to either dig into your savings account or set up a time frame to save up enough money to get tattooed, especially if you are looking for a quality work and focusing on a larger area on your body. Choosing the right tattoo artist that is worth saving for is also an important factor to take into consideration when deciding on getting tattooed. Becoming an artist isn't as simple as setting up the shop and getting right to work. Tattoo artists spend many years training as shop assistants and apprentices, and practicing their drawing and technique on their own time. More experienced artists usually charge a higher rate than someone who is just getting started.
Why are tattoos expensive? Ask every tattoo artist how many times they get this question and you will be blown away at what answer they give you. The results of a tattoo are permanent and you want the best quality work you can get. In every case, not every dollar goes straight to the tattoo artists wallet or pocket. The artist splits a certain percentage of their earnings with the shop that they work in to cover things like rent, utilities, staff, advertising , miscellaneous overhead and supplies. The artists are also responsible for buying their own ink, needles and cartridges. Tattoo artists go through a lot of supplies in one day and that doesn't include a day when they have several clients getting tattooed. No matter if your tattoo takes 15 minutes or an hour, the same materials are needed to create the tattoo and sanitize the instruments before and after each session. Bandages and tattoo balms that are used during and after your session also factor in to the cost of your tattoo.
You can get a cheaper tattoo by going to a less reputable tattoo artist who may have purchased their cheap equipment from non professional suppliers, didn't go through proper training as far as cleanliness and cross contamination goes and didn't have an actual apprenticeship. Because of lack of regulation and licensing many tattoo studios present themselves as professionals but are indeed not. And if an artist is tattooing out of their home, that in itself should be a red flag when shopping for places to get a tattoo done. Fixing a "cheap tattoo" will end up costing you more money than spending more money and doing it right the first time. People spend a lot of money on their cars, bags, and clothes and they should invest more money into something that will last a lot longer than all of those material things. If you're not ready to pay for the tattoo you want, it's a good goal to work toward saving up over time. Good quality tattoos are worth the wait and the price.